Dulce, utile, et decorum est pro patria scribere.
I have written about the practice of inserting a capital letter in the middle of a word, usually a compound word, usually a product name, such as CafePress. As a writer and editor I find it annoying, although I’ve done it myself (KeithOps). I didn’t know there’s a name for it, though: Camel Case, because the second capital makes a hump in the word. Could have been called boa-eating-a-pig, too. Caleb Crain (coincidentally alliterative with Camel Case), writing for the New York Times, is against it, and also has some interesting things to say about the function of spacing in sentences. Certain poets think they’re being avant garde by eliminating capital letters, punctuation, and other conventions of print that aid comprehension. They can make only very limited points this way, but possibly the aim is to distract readers from the meaning of the words while at the same time attracting attention to them by novel formatting.
Crain’s objections also fit with what I’ve written in the past against what I call the Teutonization of English, i.e. forming compound words unnecessarily. Just because it’s been done doesn’t mean it must always be done. Just because a phrase is fairly common, especially a noun-as-adjective-plus-noun combo, that doesn’t mean it would be better off as one word. How about (to pick out possibilities from these paragraphs): capitalletter, compoundword, productname, oneword.
Did you know “apocalypse” means, at its root, revelation or disclosure? We (or I) usually think of an apocalypse as the end of the world, or a world. I wasn’t aware of this meaning, but doesn’t it make you feel a bit more hopeful about the end of the world?
The name Calypso, a Greek sea nymph who kept Odysseus on her island for seven years, comes from the same root, to conceal.
Perhaps this means that Armageddon, in the classic, not the Hebraic, sense, is an illusion, or a revelation; each implies the other. This is the kind of etymological fiddling that’s more entertaining than instructive.
Dave Pitches In
Dave DaBee wrote:
He found this in Daily Writing Tips:
The “nauseated” example is not correct, however. If the verb phrase has an object, you could say (though rather clumsily), “She was so nauseated, she felt like throwing her lunch up.” Or, “The soup was spoiled and she was throwing it up all night.” In fact, in the latter example, the phrase must be separated, since you can throw up the soup, but you can’t throw up it.
It’s true, these are rather daunting for my ESL students, so they just have to memorize the phrases, and accept that the prepositions may or may not be operating as prepositions.
Dave also wrote:
There’s even a web site for co-sleeping. Everything has to be authorized, professionalized, and expertized.
“Embiggen” shorts are now available.
Here is the Thanksgiving Proclamation of Abraham Lincoln from 1863, when the Civil War was still going on. We have been at war for a long time, too. Our losses in blood have been much smaller than in the Civil War, and we don’t see or experience the war directly as Americans in the South did, but the strains are showing within. It’s hard to say whether the Union was at greater or lesser risk then than it is now, yet Lincoln was grateful:
The Weekly Gizzard: Examiner.com
Saturday, November 28th, 2009
More to be thankful for in the USA, based on stories people have told me about their experiences here: A...
Be thankful for the USA
Thursday, November 26th, 2009
In the last six years I’ve worked with many people from all over the world, and I’ve learned quite a...
Chavez has an epistemological question
Tuesday, November 24th, 2009
President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez has doubts about whether or not Idi Amin of Uganda was really so bad. Was he...
I’m publishing for the Kindle digital reader with Amazon and now also on Lulu.com for download to computer and for printing. Most of these titles are available in both locations. Search for Rhonda Keith on Amazon.com Kindle store and Lulu.com.
A Walk Around Stonehaven is a travel article on my trip to Scotland. Short article with photos. (Lulu.com only.)
The Wish Book is fantasy-suspense-romance featuring the old Sears Roebuck catalogues. Novella.
Carl Kriegbaum Sleeps with the Corn is about a young gambler who finds himself upright in a cornfield in Kansas with his feet encased in a tub of concrete; how would you get out of a spot like that? Short story.
Still Ridge is about a young woman who moves from Boston to Appalachia and finds there are two kinds of moonshine, the good kind and the kind that can kill you. Short story.
Whither Spooning? asks whether synchronized spooning can be admitted to the 2010 Winter Olympics. Humorous sports article.
Blood, Sweat, Tears, and Cats: One woman's tale of menopause, in which I learn that the body is predictive; I perceive that I am like my cat; and I find love. Autobiographical essay.
Parvum Opus Volume I. The first year (December 2002 through 2003). You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll get PO’ed. Collection of columns.
10% discount on my Lulu publications:
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Scot Tartans: T-shirts and more (custom orders available).
Trivium pursuit ~ rhetoric, grammar, and logic, or reading, writing, and reckoning: Parvum Opus discusses language, education, journalism, culture, and more. Parvum Opus by Rhonda Keith is a publication of KeithOps / Opus Publishing Services. Editorial input provided by Fred Stephens. Rhonda Keith is a long-time writer, editor, and English teacher. Back issues from December 2002 may be found at http://www.geocities.com/